Travelling with a Toddler
June started with a fun time in Gold Coast, Australia with my family and relatives, and I couldn’t be happier for the chance to nurture these relationships during the trip. All of us lead such busy lives, and coming together for a vacation was a rare and treasured opportunity. The only thing I was concerned about was Ellie’s ability to take the 8-hour flight, and how she would fare on car seats.
Travelling with a toddler presents a variety of challenges, but I knew that since it was not her first time flying (see posts HERE & HERE on our trip to Korea), it should not be too bad. Anyway, my cousins planned literally everything for us, and arrangements were so smooth, it was really quite a privilege to just relax and enjoy. So thankful!
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Prior to the trip, we made arrangements for a good friend to drive us around so Ellie could try out their baby’s car-seat. Got to be prepared when you’re travelling with a toddler right? 🙂 As expected, she cried the moment we buckled her in, and nothing could pacify her. No toy, no book, no music, nothing. Then I whipped my phone out. 😉 And she calmed down a little and stopped being mad at us.
But that experience was worthwhile because when we arrived in Gold Coast and had to place her in the car-seat, she didn’t make a squeak! I was so relieved, because can you imagine driving for hours with a screaming toddler?? No fun at all. Anyway, she was comfortable and happy and I was a proud mama.
I went with the mindset of having Ellie eat whatever we ate during the trip too, so I only brought her favorite rice crackers, yogurt drops and a few meals worth of instant rolled oats which made packing very easy and convenient. She loves bread and rice, so I was fairly confident she would eat well.
Gold Coast holiday
When we arrived at the airport, we got 2 bottles of water and a few muffins that we fed her with. Lesson learned – don’t buy bottled water at the airport. We later found the exact same bottled water for a fraction of the cost! Boohoo. Well, at least the muffins were delicious.
We drove to Elephant Rock Cafe for breakfast and it was quite a short drive from the airport. The beach view was stunning! Ellie couldn’t wait to go explore. She wasn’t that keen on having breakfast with us. 😉
[Add.: Elephant Rock Cafe – 776 Pacific Parade, Currumbin QLD 4223]
After that, we headed to a nearby Coles to do some grocery shopping and it was fun! Look at these beautiful mushrooms.
Formula milk tins were relatively cheaper there too. We ended up buying bread, fruits, snacks and some bottled water then we were off to our farm stay! Poor Ellie was very cranky during this time because she was so tired. That is the challenge of travelling with a toddler in a big group – you cannot protect the naptimes since you have to prioritize the needs of the majority.
But anyway, we made do. 🙂 And we survived!
Clandulla Cottages is located in breathtakingly scenic and serene surroundings. It was a refreshing change of pace from our bustling city life in Singapore. Ellie was happily roaming and exploring and of course, her favorite was the animals. Peacocks, cows, horses, sheep, chicken…it was a kid’s paradise. For us, we were exhausted from the flight and needed a break. So thank God for my parents who brought her around the farm.
[Add.: Clandulla Cottages 312 Boyland Rd, Boyland QLD 4275]
Many have told me how toddlers this young will not remember their trips, so I have to share that it may not be true! Ellie has been able to recall the animals she saw and with fond memories and excitement too. I believe it is still worthwhile to bring them for such vacations, especially since it’s great for us adults too. There is just something about travelling together that builds a special bond among us. We also get to create new memories that will be cherished for years to come.
Highlights of Our Trip
We drove out to Beaudesert Fish & Chips for dinner, and it was seriously the BEST I’ve had. It was so fresh, crisp and delicious! There were many getting takeaways too.
If you notice, Ellie was sleeping during the meal. I’m so thankful for this Tula carrier which makes travelling with her so much easier!
[Add.: Beaudesert Fish & Chips 8/1 Telemon St, Beaudesert QLD 4285]
We visited the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk the next day and it reminded me of our time at MacRitchie’s Tree Top Walk. It wasn’t as strenuous though, and the weather was of course so much better than Singapore’s humid weather. It was quite a workout having Ellie along!
Do note that there are a few areas that may make you uncomfortable if you are scared of heights.
[Add.: Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk 333 Geissmann Dr, Mt Tamborine QLD 4272]
After that, we went over to Thunderbird Park for lunch. It was a very lovely place to hang out, and the kids enjoyed the feeding session! Ellie was not that into it, but she had fun watching.
She got a little too carried away and bumped her chin into a tree bark while we were resting though, so thank God for the antiseptic cotton buds we brought along. She is a little trooper and recovered pretty fast.
[Add.: Thunderbird Park Tamborine Mountain Rd & Cedar Creek Falls Rd, Tamborine QLD 4272]
Next, we stopped over at Glow Worm Caves (was interesting but a little underwhelming) and the highlight of the day (and our trip!) was seeing the gorgeous sunset at Hang Glider Launch. I have never seen anything like that! God’s artistry on spectacular display.
[Add.: Glow Worm Caves Cedar Creek Estate 104-144 Cnr Long and Hartley Rd, North Tamborine QLD 4272]
The saving grace was that Ellie fell asleep right when the tour started, so we could quietly admire the glow worms in the cave. The guide very kindly and clearly told us that parents with children needed to be near the exit so that we would be able to make a quick run out if our darlings caused a ruckus, so as not to disturb the adorable glow worms’ environment. 😉
[Add.: Hang Glider Launch 294-298 Main Western Rd, North Tamborine QLD 4272]
The most beautiful sunset we’d ever seen.
He’s really good, and I’m not saying that just because he’s my cousin. 😉
His works are beautiful!
Moving to the villa was such an exciting thing, mainly because it was huge and we didn’t have to share toilets anymore! I guess we are still very much city people at heart. The view was gorgeous and everything was so convenient. Loved it. The kids started running around the house and one even started singing. Too cute!
[Add.: Anchorage Waters 53 Paradise Island, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217]
The villa is seriously stunning and all that you need…and more. We cooked (I say we, but nah – I only did the eating, haha), we chilled at the pool, we barbecued, and it was just a very restful time. Oh, and the Surfers Paradise beach is only a 10-minute walk away! I wished we could have stayed longer.
[Add.: Shiraz Persian Restaurant 3106 Surfers Paradise Blvd Gold Coast, QLD 4217]
We loved their rice! It was so fragrant and went well with the lamb and chicken.
[Add.: SEA World Dr., Main Beach Gold Coast, Queensland 4210]
We bought tickets from Groupon Australia as they have pretty good deals. If you are going to a few attractions, it will make sense to buy the VIP Magic Pass: 12-months unlimited entry for AU89/pax!
Well, I hope you have enjoyed my reflections and pictures from this trip! After every vacation, I am drawn to the beauty and wonder of our Creator once more.
May we live each day as an art, drawing closer to the beauty and goodness of the love of Christ.